VERBA DULCE (Baccharis angustifolia). — The odor of the flowers can be perceived for a long distance. A branched shrub, 3 to 6 feet tall, with leathery, resinous leaves and numerous heads of yellowish flowers, blooming in the fall. Abundant in brackish marshes in the southern states, especially in Texas, where there are thousands of acres. Honeybees visit the flowers in great numbers, and in the coast prairies gather a surplus of mild amber-colored honey. In Arizona, water motor, or bottom willow (B. glutinosa), is common in the river valleys, growing chiefly on land that is sometimes inundated. It also covers large areas along the banks of the Rio Grande. Near Phoenix, Arizona, a large surplus of excellent light-colored honey is obtained from this species. The Spanish name gautemote has been corrupted into water motor. Desert bloom (B. sarathroides) is a fall source of nectar near Tucson.
YERBA SANTA (Eriodictyon californicum). — Mountain balm. A low shrub common over extensive areas in the Coast Ranges of California, often associated with chamise. Blooms in June and July, and yields an amber-colored honey of good quality.
YUCCA. — Bear-grass. Spanish dagger. Adam’s needle. Spanish bayonet. The yuccas, of which there are more than a dozen species in this country, are very abundant on the semi-arid lands of the southwestern states, occurring in such large numbers in some localities that they form “straggling forests.” Some species have fibrous stems 20 feet high, while others are almost stemless. The flowers are large, white, bell-shaped and pendulous, and borne in great branched clusters. There are three oblong nectaries in a flower, enclosed by the partitions that separate the three cells of the ovary, which open externally at the base of the flower, where the nectar escapes through a capillary pore. Very little nectar is secreted, as it is of no use in the pollination of the species. The flowers are pollinated by small moths, which fly in the evening, and take no food in the adult stage, as the alimentary canal is functionless. A few flies and beetles also visit the flowers, but they do not bring about pollination. In Florida the common Spanish bayonet (Yucca filamentosa) is never visited by bees, and it is probably nowhere important to beekeeping. Yucca Whipplii, common in the chaparral belt of the mountains of California, is the noblest of the yuccas. From a crown of leaves near the ground there arises a stalk 12 feet tall, bearing an immense cluster or panicle of white flowers. Coquillet, who investigated its manner of pollination, says: “I did not observe a single butterfly or wild bee of any kind visit the flowers, although all of these insects were quite abundant in the vicinity.’’ Richter reports it as eagerly visited by honeybees, and yielding a surplus; but, as it secretes nectar sparingly, it should probably be classed as a minor honey plant.